Friday, June 13, 2014

Planet Low: SOWO Part 1

I honestly didnt know what to expect when I showed up to Southern Worthersee this year, as I have never been before nor had I ever remembered ever seeing any photos come out of the event. But a lot of my friends were going and I knew Id at least have a good time with them even if we were the only people in the town (actually that would be awesome). But my mind was completely blown. Have you ever walked into a movie theater having never heard of the movie you were seeing, cause a lady friend dragged you there, only to have your mind totally blown with awesomeness. That was SOWO for me, it was like stepping into an alternate universe. Welcome to Planet Low. 

Heading up towards the mountains from Atlanta in my trusty stead the 86, I started to encounter more and more low life automobiles.

Until I arrived in Helen Ga where, like I said before, it was like stepping into an alternate universe in which every body alive is an automotive enthusiast and all cars must scrape the ground.   

Even though Im sure you have been told this Helen meet is for VW brands only I assure you, you have been told wrong.

Though it is mostly filled with VW brands and VW themselves sponsor the event and bring out press cars for people to drive. That is real dedication to the car show scene, when an auto manufacture brings out a collection like this you know this is the real deal. 

They even had displays of their new cars already lowered with roof racks with bikes on them.

and all around the VW both they welcomed all generations of there goofy automobiles, it was pretty wild.

However, like I said before this is no VW only show, everything under the sun and 1/2" from the ground comes out to play and ride the streets of Helen. 

Never in my life have I been more amused by a mass of cars for a "car show"

Usually I hate car shows, cars just sitting around all day with no sounds or movement puts me to sleep instantly.

but Sowo isnt like that, its an organic show, there is movement all around you, constantly.

There is always something to look at, weither your walking around or just standing still.

and standing still you will do a lot of, as you cant help just to drop your jaw as things like this Merc above as it drives past you.

and this Porsche above on rotiforms.

Enjoying all these cars I came upon a realization that I never thought I would come to,

That Stance cars are ok, Ive always been more of a function over style guy, as an engineer its in my blood. but even though the slammed life isnt for me, thats ok as other people seem to make this style a function of there life which is something I cant totally understand.

People are using these cars as tools for there life to come here, to meet friends, to make new ones and to have fun and really isnt that what all of our cars are,  just tools we use to enjoy the lifestyle we want to... these are just different shaped tools.

However not all tools are as low as a sawblade on a new piece of wood, some are tall.

This "country" edition VW with a AWD Syncro setup was awesome I couldn't even believe it was a real thing.

There were some seriously cool golfs here.

Lets not forget about the original lifted VW, the Baja Bug.

For most of my time in Helen I spent it with this guy, Luke who owns this amazing bagged Merc

We did some cruising around Helen and I have to say I haven't laughed that hard in a long time, there is just something totally goofy about an old dictator car scrapping the ground.

Though he was not the only one there with an old merc, however the one below has clearly dropped the 68hp diesel motor and leaned to more of an American approach.

Heading back to the Main grounds I ran into this, a slammed bagged trailer. You read that right, on Planet Low even the trailers are slammed. 

There was one car however that wasn't collecting pennies off the ground, this 50's bug that looked show room new. Honestly I have never seen such a stock example of a bug before, and I can really see why people loved these things back in the day, it is really nice in its stock form.

Speaking of an other ancient breed, this Corrado was showing what that true VW  old style was like. These are super rare now, Im glad this one is getting looked after.

Walking around the parking lots, literally every space is filled with something from a magazine.

Every car, side by side, looked like it was from a Fifteen 52 or Rotiform advert.

Now my favorite part of Planet Low, the country of Bus Life.

Its enjoyed by many, though only a few truly understand it.

Bus Life is a sovereign country unlike any other, its VW yet its so much more than that, Its show car life mixed with over landing life mixed with hipster life mixed with camping hobo life.

Bus life is really something I enjoy to see, there is something majestic about a brick shaped object that can go anywhere yet can only go 60 mph.

Its a vehicle that forces you to stop and smell the road kill, to see everything in slow motion as it should be.

Have you ever driven the same road over and over again, then ride your bike or skate board down it only to see 1000 things you have never noticed before, everything was like new again right? I imagine thats what driving a bus would be like, everything in slow motion, new and interesting.

So many of us seem to rush though life at a million miles an hour, the Bus is a testament on what we really need to be doing, slowing down and enjoying the little things.

Planet Low Day 2: They still dont know Im a drift/rally enthusiast, they still think Im one of them, the alcohol is helping.  

Saturday proved to be even more fruitful than Friday, with little rain and lots of people showing up over night, Saturday was filled with eye candy as far as the eye can see.

Including that rear (turboed) engine in that caddy above. 

My favorite part of this Helen trip, was getting SirShift to lath me out a custom wood shift knob  from scratch for Betty the Corolla, I just pulled off my ancient MOMO wood wheel and we color matched it. This is what the car scene needs more of, dudes making quality shit from scratch locally. The global market has taken us away from that and personally I miss it.  

Speaking of local, I have to say the local police were really cool about the whole situation.

Even though half of us were acting like a horses head.

Though there were plenty of adults there too, one in particular driving this amazing Audi, and one below cruzing around in this slammed Porsche 

Because thats whats SOWO was all about, a community, where everyone could join no matter the car, as long as it was cool in its own respect. Planet Low represents what we all want out of our car culture, a place to call our own, and for one weekend SOWO gives us that. Thanks for the stay Helen I will be back.